|Source: Egyptian Nomad|
In spite of my resolve to not write about the end of Google Reader, here it is. Sheesh.
I’m not exactly sure why the demise of Google Reader left a bad taste in my mouth…maybe if it had just been Reader, I wouldn’t have felt anything. After all, I immediately switched over to Feedly.com (Web/Mobile) and Liferea (Linux) without a hitch. As others have pointed out, change is inevitable especially when it comes to technology. Losing Reader isn’t the problem…it’s just that feeling that since Google is always on the move, changing it’s services and constantly updating its offerings, I feel like a nomad moving from service to service. Maybe I’m getting a bit curmudgeony or something.
Still, I couldn’t help but feel–irrational as that feeling may be–that something is off. This comment about a new Evernote competitor service from Google (known as Keep) best captured the fleeting feeling:
Great, so Google targets yet another thriving area, puts everyone else out of business with their “free” service, then 3 years later decides they’re bored and discontinues it leaving everybody in the lurch.
Note to google: at least give users a couple of week to forget about Reader before “leaking” the next area you plan to do it to.
That remark was spot on. Is Google out to put Evernote out of business, then when it gets bored with the service it provides, shifts its resources, and there we go again.
Harold Jarche also made a remark in his post, Open as in commons, not garden, that I agree with:
This week Google announced that it will close down Google Reader, an RSS aggregator that I have found useful, after Bloglines went offline and then changed its operating model. Reader is a very important part of my PKM process, especially the “Seek” part. I have just switched to Feedly and will see how it works. At this stage I am more inclined to find paid services than free ones. As they say on the web, if you’re not paying for it, you are the product. For more commentary on Google Reader see Stephen Downes’ posts.
The problem with Google isn’t just Reader. It’s the other popular services that are being sucked into other places (e.g. Google +). For example, PicasaWeb, which I switched to from Flickr when Yahoo acquired it and seem to let it lie un-developed, has provided easy storage for my images. Since I pay for additional storage, I’m not that worried about losing the images. As a paying customer, as insignificant as that payment may be to Google’s billions, it bothers me that when I tried to log in to PicasaWeb, I was re-directed to Google +.
I’m not the only one frustrated with this change, as one google certified teacher put it:
I’m getting frustrated with the confusion between PicasaWeb and Google+ Photos. (I saw the resources shared on the Google Group here…thanks for sharing). Would more so just love a definite answer on whether or not PicasaWeb is fully going away so we can start planning for that. Here are a few of my concerns:
- Love the ability to email photos to an album. I use this daily. There does not appear to be anything in the Google+ Settings for this. Anyone seen anything on this or a way to make this work? (I don’t mean just me emailing to my own album b/c I know Instant Upload would take care of that…I mean, I love having an album that OTHERS can email a photo to. We use this to collect photos for events, our school, our yearbook, our district)
- I don’t see way in Google+ photos to ’embed a slideshow’ of pictures on a site like Google Sites or any other site. Am I missing something?
- Doesn’t appear to be a way from Google+ to send the photos to a store/service for printing?
- No way to EDIT the photos in Google+ yet, is there?
Would love it if anyone has any advice on this or if we can just get a definitive answer on if PicasaWeb is going away so I stop showing it to staff and figure out another tool to use in it’s place…
Maybe, we just need to stop pushing one set of tools. Ok, this isn’t all that original. Let’s review the lessons for web users:
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- Keep your data nimble.
- Pay for services that you want to use over the long-term, although that’s no guarantee.
- Expect that you’ll be exploited so avoid sharing content that can’t be monetized by the vendor.
I suppose, it’s just a faint sense of disappointment, unease. I’d gotten comfortable not storing all my email on one computer, having to worry about backing up gigabytes of data, etc. How much is that Rackspace server account again?